Jack Hayter: Sucky Tart
This EP from the talented Hefner and Dollboy guitarist/all-rounder is the latest release from pocket dynamos Audio Antihero, who have featured here before with Nosferatu D2 and Benjamin Shaw (who did the sleeve). The four songs are something like folk, with the lead track (and clue to the title) ‘I Stole The Cutty Sark’ developing from the slightest melody possible into a sea shanty – or at least the sound of the Thames foreshore. The other three are perhaps more intimate and less expansive, all coloured by a pleasantly melancholy wooziness of the Tom Waits/Tindersticks variety.
But the real strength of the EP is Hayter’s voice. It’s glorious – lived in, but not folk-by-the-yard. The empathetic warmth of it goes nicely with the occasionally sordid subject matter, which makes the whole thing rewardingly rich and strange. If it was all this smooth it might be cloying, but sometimes Hayter’s voice falters and breaks; sometimes we get a dash of Proper London to cut through this richness. The standout is probably ‘Jacquie I won’t mind’, the story of a man who has fallen for his sister-in-law, apparently told to Hayter by a plasterer who was doing some work for him… it still manages to be enormously affecting. A perfect, simple folksong of love and desire and regret and plastering.
‘I Stole The Cutty Sark’ – Jack Hayter – Sucky Tart
Buy the EP here, for crying out loud. It’s on iTunes and the other usual places, too. But if you’re tempted and just want the digital version, I recommend buying from Bandcamp where the whole thing is £1.79. £1.79!